Non-Traditional Student “Taken” with Sociology

Bobby Torres

Bobby Torres is a non-traditional student at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln majoring in sociology and psychology. His history with the university is a long one.

Bobby first came to Nebraska in 1993 and majored in accounting. He did not graduate. Bobby later returned to the university but did not have a definite idea of what he wanted to study or pursue for a career. Bobby returned to Nebraska once more in fall 2012, and Bobby hopes this time will be the last.

In 2012, Bobby majored only in psychology. However, after taking a class about the sociology of sports last year to fulfill credits, Bobby was so taken with the subject that he decided to major in sociology as well as psychology.

In the years between Bobby’s stays at Nebraska, he has taken classes at other nearby colleges while driving a school bus for a living. Bobby still drives a school bus part-time, and it was while driving a school bus that Bobby received a “stroke of maturity” which he says inspired him to return to Nebraska in 2012 to finish his degree.

“When you interact with students you start to wonder how you influence them and how they influence you,” Bobby said. “It’s always been something of interest to me. And I always thought there was more out there for me. Not necessarily in terms of money, but in terms of what I’m capable of doing.”

Bobby said studying sociology has been valuable to him not only academically, but in his job and family life as well. Sociology illuminates the interactions which take place between people in every setting imaginable, Bobby said.

After he receives his bachelor’s degree, Bobby plans to pursue a master’s in psychology and pursue a teaching position. He plans on teaching at a community college or even the university level.

Bobby believes it is important for both traditional and non-traditional students like himself to act as their own advocates, taking responsibility for their classes and assignments no matter what their major is.

The instructors and personnel of the sociology department have been helpful in his efforts, Bobby said.

Story by Lane Chasek

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